The Minister of Industrialisation and trade, Lucia Iipumbu, has said the government supports trade exhibitions as a means to supplement its programmes and empower communities.
She said a lot more needs to be done to develop the trade exhibition shows into vibrant opportunities for new business development and centres of learning and development for both small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and established businesses.
Iipumbu made these remarks during the official opening of the Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition (Otie) at Ondangwa on Wednesday.
“Exhibitions such as the one at Ondangua Otie amplify the government’s industrial development policy, as well as our Growth at Home Strategy and encourage participants to take ownership of our business processes. The Ondangwa Town Council should, therefore, be commended for spearheading events such as this one, which serve as a catalyst and springboard for localised interventions towards an integrated smart market,” she said.
She said the ministry of industrialisation, as the custodian ministry for business development in the country, continues to look at various avenues of assisting our business growth and development, she added.
During the current financial year, the ministry will roll out limited support programmes and facilities aimed at assisting the SME sector to establish and grow businesses in Namibia.
The ministry’s Equipment Aid Scheme programme has received limited funding to help SMEs acquire manufacturing equipment needed to increase their production potential and technical capacity.
In addition, there are other product development initiatives, such as IUMP and the SDG Facility, to further assist SMEs in product development, standards, labelling, packaging and marketing of their products. The ministry also assists SMEs develop business plans and trains them on basic entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business modelling under Empretec, said Iipumbu.
She added that the ministry often invites local businesses to participate in trade missions abroad to expose them to potential business linkages.
“It is, however, up to the individual entrepreneurs to tap into these programmes to see how best they can utilise the facilities to their own benefit. I, therefore, implore our business sector to apply for these opportunities through local media,” she said.
The exhibition, which started on Tuesday, ends tomorrow.
Over 100 local and international exhibitors are taking part in this year’s exhibition.
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